Cutting Room for June 13

We lost Roger Ebert a little over a year ago, and it still hurts like hell. He isn’t just the reason I write about movies; he’s the reason I write at all and one of the most important reasons why I love movies. As a kid living in Illinois, I used to tear into the paper each Friday, digging for his reviews. I was never disappointed. Brilliant filmmaker Steve James, whose Interrupters and Hoop Dreams rank among my favorite documentaries of all time, has made a film about Roger called Life Itself. On Friday, July 18 at 7 pm, Film Streams will hold a special opening night screening of the film, with James doing a Q&A following the show. I’d like to think I’d be capable of asking something insightful, but I’ll likely be the one in the back sniffling. The fact that a movie critic has had that kind of influence on anyone should explain why this is a film James had to make.

The Amazing Spider-man 3 has been delayed from 2016 to 2017. Giving the stanky dumpster fire that was the second film, it would seem most beneficial to fire everyone involved and pretend the last two films never happened. Sadly, that’s not how studios work, and Sony is deeply financially invested in continuing this fugly series. The good news is, at least Emma Stone is off the hook.

How many actors would you have to go through before choosing Tom Hiddleston (Loki from The Avengers/Thor) to play country legend Hank Williams? Hiddleston will play Williams in I Saw the Light, which follows the singer’s meteoric rise and tragic collapse (aka, what every biopic of a musician does). The good news is this isn’t a film about Hank Williams Jr., which would have had to be called Are You Ready for Some Football? I’m Only Talking to White People.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 06/13/14 at 11:33 AM | read comments »


Cutting Room for June 6

The only thing more difficult than pronouncing writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn’s name is figuring out why he likes working with Carey Mulligan, whose acting approach is “method mannequin.” Still, the two are likely pairing up again for I Walk With the Dead, which is being billed as an “all-female horror film.” This news is probably conflicting for Refn’s frequent leading man, Ryan Gosling. On the one hand, he probably can’t be in the film. On the other, his feminist meme has some great new ammunition!

Having slipped through the greasy fingers of scores of would-be writer/directors, the cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand has oozed its way into the lap of Josh Boone, who just directed The Fault in Our Stars. Optimistically, Boone is talking up his vision. Boone says the film will be R-rated, three hours long and packed with big names. Translated into English, that means the film will be canceled.

How quickly the turn tables have turned. When I heard they were going to remake The Magnificent Seven, which was itself a remake of Seven Samurai, I thought “pass!” Then I heard director Antoine Fuqua was involved, and I thought “meh.” Then they said Denzel Washington was interested, and I thought “okay.” Then they revealed the script was by “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto, and I thought “Nothing matters in my life more than seeing this film.” Priorities, people.

You can thank Maleficent. The new thing these days is live-action takes on animated fairy tales. So in addition to the forthcoming Cinderella and Jungle Book, we’re now getting Beauty and the Beast and another Snow White and the Huntsman movie. Director Bill Condon, who wore out my good vibes toward him when he did the last two Twilight movies, is going to helm Beauty. That’s whatever. But rumor has it they are trying to get Frank Darabont to do the Snow White sequel. Please don’t let this happen. I don’t want to want to see it.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 06/06/14 at 11:06 AM | read comments »


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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


Guardians of the Galaxy

A gleeful space opera that is as visually stunning as it is hilarious.

GRADE
A


Lucy

A girl ingests a drug that makes her God. For real.

GRADE
C+


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


Snowpiercer

Awesome, literal class warfare on a train that holds the only humans that survived the new ice age.

GRADE
A-


Cinéma Very Tame

A few quick confessions: Because we now have cameras, modern photorealistic paintings have always been, at best, modestly...

more »


Grade A-Holes

The proliferation of comic book movies has reached its cultural apex, so thoroughly dominating the box office and public...

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Lucy Goosey

It doesn’t work this way with people, but there’s a level of confident stupidity a movie can display that makes it...

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Fuzzy Focus

Time has whittled mainstream memory of the original late 1960s/early 1970s Planet of the Apes franchise down to an image of...

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